Alice Stewardson

Quantity Surveying BSc (Hons)

Alice never planned to go to university, but the chance to study alongside her full-time position popped up in her first job. After excelling in her degree, and being awarded the ‘Most Promising Trainee Quantity Surveyor’ award, Alice is now working her way up in her chosen industry.

After college, I landed an admin role in my current company, Danaher & Walsh, and never planned to go to university. The Quantity Surveyor within the company left, so I started picking up day to day tasks. After a few short weeks, work asked if I wanted to have a go at being a Quantity Surveyor. I’d never heard of the job before, but was informed that the intake of new students would be coming up soon, so if I wanted to, I needed to apply as soon as possible.

It was scary as I was signing up to five years on a training agreement at the company as well as university. It was like having a new job and going back to school at the same time, so it was a challenge and it’s always hard being a woman in the construction industry too. But in the end, I really liked it and now I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The course structure really appealed to me and allowed me to work four days and be in university one day a week. BCU came across really well and living in Rugby, it was only 30 minutes on the train into campus which worked great for me. BCU also offered the Higher National Certificate (HNC), which I did for two years before starting my three year degree. The HNC gave me the general construction knowledge before making that step up and starting the degree.

As a trainee, what I was learning at work was similar to what I was being taught at university, so the two worked alongside each other really well. Going from HNC to a degree was a big step up and more responsibility was given to me within the company. I really started to understand what we were doing at work and why certain steps need to be taken. I have recently been promoted to Assistant Quantity Surveyor and until November 2021, I’ll still be at BCU while I complete my qualification with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which is the highest accreditation you can get in quantity surveying.

Within my role, I work on projects for a few weeks at a time, rather than being put on a huge project over several years, which gives me variety. What I love about being a Quantity Surveyor is that no two projects are the same, I get to work all over the country and I really enjoy it. I’m now running whole jobs and I’m progressing in my career.

I was recently awarded the Most Promising Trainee Quantity Surveyor award at the CECA Southern Young Achiever Awards 2021 too, which was an incredible achievement.

I’m really proud of my time at BCU, especially my grades. They were consistently high because I enjoy what I do. I am supported by the company and they want me to be the best that I can be.

My advice for future students is to ask lots of questions as it’s not an easy subject to understand and it is also always changing. The lecturers at BCU have been in industry and know it very well. There is such a wide range of people and experience on the course, so embrace it.

Being part of BCU makes me feel proud. I had a great experience on my course and it has given me so many opportunities.”